14 June 2013

An update on the CCO role

We’ve previously looked at the role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO), through the eyes of someone in the role. But what can be learned about this up-and-coming job title through surveying multiple people? Forrester’s Paul Hagen stepped in to find out.

His research, alongside UX Magazine, identified 773 executive-level positions dedicated to customer experience efforts across an entire business, but he goes on to say that this is likely an under-estimate.

Of those positions, the majority are known as a “Chief Customer Officer”, while “Chief Experience Officer” and “Chief Client Officer” also appear regularly.

Additional profile information from those surveyed is also presented, such as the tenure, career history, reporting structure, industry and company size.

Besides the demographic information however, Hagen goes further to recommend what activities CCOs should be focused on to help ensure the success of their efforts. Those three are:

  • “Create end-to-end accountability for customer experience. Customer experience success requires change across all parts of the organization, not just in specific functions like marketing or customer support. Executives in the CCO position are ideally positioned to drive that change.
  • Design experiences rather than processes. Customer experience transformation involves changes in the fundamental ways that a company operates and delivers value to customers. The big uptick in CCOs with operations backgrounds signals an awareness of this fact. These leaders need to reframe problems and opportunities from the customer’s perspective, not the internal point of view that business process improvement takes too often.
  • Build a cultural shift. 2013 saw an increase in the scope of the CCO role from advisory-type positions to more operationally structured positions. One company added all marketing and sales functions to its CCO’s line of command, while another put customer quality and its dealer development network under the direct control of its CCO. This operational control makes it easier to drive culture change across the organization.”

In addition, he sets out what he sees as pre-conditions for success by a CCO.

Source: “How Chief Customer Officers Orchestrate Experiences” (Paul Hagen, Forrester/UX Magazine)

Culture (9), Customer experience (78), User experience (53), UX management (13)

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